H&R Block is debuting a new program to encourage consumer savings at tax time, working with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the U.S. government agency charged with making financial markets work for American consumers, to encourage consumers to use tax refunds to build savings.
H&R Block has designed a pilot program to evaluate the effectiveness of different mechanisms in encouraging consumer saving behavior at tax time and to promote consumer financial wellbeing. Block said that insights from the program will be shared with the CFPB to help inform its work to increase understanding about what practices encourage tax-time saving and the impact of saving on consumers' long-term financial health.
“We are very excited to be able to support the CFPB's work to find effective ways to encourage consumer saving at tax time," said H&R Block president and CEO Bill Cobb in a statement. “Most Americans get a tax refund, so we believe this pilot will offer important insights into ways consumers can use their tax return to save for the future.”
H&R Block's pilot program, whjch will be called "Savings at Tax Time," will help inform the CFPB's work to promote tax-time saving. The research will be conducted over a three year period through August 2017.
Block said the information it shares with the CFPB will be “de-identified,” and appropriate precautions will be taken to ensure that individual consumers cannot be identified through the data. H&R Block is offering the research insights to the CFPB free of charge.
"This is part of H&R Block's larger effort to increase financial literacy," said Greg Quarles, president of H&R Block financial services, in a statement. "Too many people are mired in debt and we think our pilot can help people make smarter financial decisions."
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